Thursday, February 12, 2015


Members have been emailing ICE regularly to ask when the lump sum back pay would be coming for people who retired between November 2009 and June 2014. One of our correspondents at yesterday's Delegate Assembly Mike Schirtzer, Delegate Leon Goldstein HS, emailed this from the DA.

Mulgrew: Arbitrator will make decision soon- news is imminent - we'll announce something very soon. 

That is all we know.

The other big issue was high stakes testing.  You know what ICE and MORE would do if we were in power.  We would starve the data beast and fight high stakes testing with everything we have.  For our friends on the left, we would stop selling the data rope for our own hanging.  Arthur Goldstein sent the following report on Mike Schirtzer's attempt to introduce the NYSAPE resolution to encourage people to opt out of the state exams.

Motions—Mike Schirtzer rises, raises motion for next month on behalf of MORE, to support I Refuse Movement. Circulates it. Mulgrew says it needs a simple majority to be placed on agenda.  

Mike says it has been passed by several locals, that testing regime is out of hand, and that we should oppose high stakes testing. Says test prep saps joy from teaching, helps neither us nor our students. Kills creativity, critical thinking so we can do non stop test prep. Says we must starve the beast, that MOSL is junk science. Says if we’re gonna go to war against Cuomo, let’s take high stakes testing away from him.

Point of information—states we cannot make resolutions for NYSUT, and that there is no NYC Board of Education. Mulgrew points out other reference to NYSUT, makes disapproving noises, says DA does not have ability to bind NYSUT’s hands. 

Sterling Roberson rises to speak against resolution, says we are against over-testing, but that we need tools to help drive instruction. Says parents need tests to ensure that they’re getting the “education they deserve.” Says we’ve supported this issue “from teachers of Chicago,” and in early grades. Says we’ve enforced it and reemphasized it over and over. States there is difference between opting out and refusing. Says it tells folks to tell their kids to refuse. Although there are pieces that are appealing to us, it goes too far. Urges this motion be defeated. 

Mulgrew holds vote, takes point of personal privilege, says he understands passion around this issue. Says resolution is out of order because it asks us to make decision about NYSUT. Speaks of how parents want tests. Says we’re in a fight and have to be smart about it, that we ought not to take a boilerplate resolution that was put together in other places. Says we should be against high stakes. 

Point of information—Last resolved makes it clear that this resolution is only—Mulgrew interrupts speaker and says it’s already been voted on. Calls speaker out of order. 
My understanding from talking to Mike last night is the motion received significant support from independents.  The Unity faithful had to join together to defeat it.  We now are pretty sure that the war we are fighting against Governor Cuomo is kind of in name only.
You can read NYC Educator's full DA report here.


ATR 25/55 said...

James-You mentioned that the recent retirees will now have to wait a little longer for their lump-sums. While that does bring a tear (of joy), one question I have never fully seen answered correctly is this: Were retirees allowed to vote on the last contract? It seems to be yes or no depending on the blog you go to. More to the point, do they get to vote at all, i.e., elections, retiree chapters (maybe some retired ATRs could get their own?). Can you please set the record straight?

James Eterno said...

Only active people vote on contracts. There is a central retiree Chapter all retirees can vote for. The retirees are the biggest voting group in UFT elections where they vote for president and everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Atrs aren't voting in school surveys - more discrimination

Anonymous said...

Arthur's report of the DA is missing Mulgrew's request for people to come up with another resolution similar to this one for the a future DA.

Anonymous said...

Watered down Unity bs.

Francesco Portelos said...

Here is a reso I'd like to see us push:

WHEREAS mandated standardized testing bears no diagnostic output to support educators, students and parents;

WHEREAS mandated standardized testing is misused to evaluate educators and misused as promotional criteria for students;

RESOLVED the UFT will openly oppose these mandated standardized tests;

RESOLVED the UFT will support the opt-out movement;

RESOLVED the UFT will encourage members, who are parents of students taking these mandated standardized tests, to opt their children out.

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between this and NYSAPE? By supporting the admittedly flawed resolution, we were showing support for parents and other activists, not just looking out for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

The UFT has become irrelevant. It seems like everyone and everything is against us.

Anonymous said...

Why arbitration? That money was negotiated for and should have been there. STRIKE...not arbitration. Mulgrew's got to go.

Francesco Portelos said...

This resolution is placed as a draft and is a ball now in Mulgrew's court. Basically asking "Would you vote for this and if not why? Let's collaborate and get a strong anti-testing reso out there. Or is there no anti-testing reso that Unity would sorry support?